SOMERSET — Town Administrator Richard Brown has applied for two grants that would assist the town in doing some financial forecasting and financial trend monitoring.

Brown has applied to the state's Community Compact program, which Somerset is a part of, for the grants. He said that the town could either receive funding from the program to pay for consultants to do that work, or the state may provide its own personnel from the Department of Finance and Administration or other offices to do the work.

Brown said the financial forecasting and financial trend monitoring would be done to provide meaningful information that a task force or decision makers in the town can look at when conducting the town's business.

Brown said there has been talk about bringing the town's Fiscal Task Force back. The Task Force was started several years ago with the purpose of coming up with a plan to transition Somerset through losing a significant amount of revenue from the two power plants in town. Both of those power plants are now closed with the most recent closure being the Brayton Point power plant earlier this year. The town has built up a stabilization fund over the years to help it get through a time when the power plants closed. The town also has been receiving money from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative fund to help it transition from losing a lot of money from the power plants for the past several years, but state Rep. Patricia Haddad has said that the town will be receiving a lot less money from that fund starting next year.

Brown said he would like to gather the information from the financial forecasting and financial trend monitoring before restarting the Task Force or a committee like it in the future. He said the first thing that a committee like that usually does is ask for that information. He said he is applying for the grants because it would be a daunting task for someone who already has a lot of other regular responsibilities for the town to do the financial forecasting and financial trend monitoring. Brown said the power plants will be a big consideration in the revenue area of the studies, but said the town's expenditures will also be studied to see if the way the town is paying for its services with taxes is sustainable. He said the study would look at if the town is spending at an appropriate or higher than needed levels. He said spending needs to be examined to see if the town is spending at appropriate levels, which he said means as little as possible.

The Community Compact initiative that Somerset has signed on to gives Massachusetts cities and towns the chance to make needed improvements through collaboration with and support from the Commonwealth. Each compact is a voluntary, mutual agreement between the administration of Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and the local government. The cabinet, headed by the lieutenant governor, enables the state to work closely with leaders from these municipalities to support public interests and develop mutual standards for governing effectively. Communities that sign on to the initiative choose best practices to concentrate on that include education, energy and environment, financial management and others.